Minsk, December 12, 2018
The Holy Synod of the Belarusian Orthodox Church met yesterday, December 11, in the Minsk Diocesan administration building under the chairmanship of His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl, the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, with the participation of 16 hierarchs of the Belarusian Church, including the Exarchs Emeritus His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret, reports the site of the Belarusian Church.
The Synod heard Met. Pavel’s report on the sessions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on September 14 and October 15, both of which took place since the Belarusian Synod last met on September 11, where it condemns Constantinople’s appointing of two Exarch bishops for Ukraine without the permission and blessing of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
On September 14 the Russian Synod resolved to suspend commemoration of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and hierarchical concelebrations with bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople after it appointed its Exarch bishops in Ukraine, and on October 15 the Russian Synod resolved to break communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople after it uncanonically and unilaterally lifted the anathemas and ecclesiastical sanctions against the leaders of the Ukrainian schismatic groups and declared that Ukraine was now its ecclesiastical territory.
Having discussed the anticanonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the canonical territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Belarusian Synod expressed its full support for the decisions of the Russian Holy Synod and for the persons of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
In particular, the Belarusian Synod resolved:
1. To implement the decisions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church from September 14 and October 15, 2018.
2. To unanimously uphold the decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church from October 15, 2018 (Log No. 71) on the recognition of the impossibility of remaining in Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
3. To express filial gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia for his firm, measured, and unwavering position in standing for the purity of the canons and teachings of the Orthodox Church of Christ.
4. To express brotherly support for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the episcopate, and the fullness of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and to continue offering special prayers for the brotherly people of Ukraine.
5. To hold diocesan meetings in every diocese of the Belarusian Orthodox Church and to explain to their participants—clergy, monastics, and laity—the position of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on the situation that has unfolded in connection with the anti-canonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, calling on the entirety of the Belarusian Exarchate to firmly follow the decision taken by the hierarchy of our Church.
6. To continue to offer prayerful petitions for the unity of holy Orthodoxy during the Divine Liturgy in the churches and monasteries of the Belarusian Exarchate, calling upon the clergy and flock of the Belarusian Orthodox Church to increase their prayers for the granting of peace, oneness of mind, and love to the Church of Christ.
The Synod also made a number of administrative and personnel decisions regarding current issues of Church life in Belarus.
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has also released several statements in support of the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the decisions of the Russian Holy Synod, its most recent having been released three days ago on December 9.
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